Power Players

The 2012 race heats up in the Sunshine State

Power Players

Top Line
ABC's Amy Walter, Rick Klein, and Yahoo! News' David Chalian weigh in on the dynamic race in Florida.

Polls show Mitt Romney in a dead heat with Newt Gingrich in Florida, and suddenly this primary is shaping up to be the one that could change the DNA of the Republican presidential race. It is the first Republicans-only primary, which means a more conservative electorate than the ones candidates courted in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina.

President Obama also has an eye on Florida, specifically its Latino voters. Expect him to be in the sunshine talking about immigration, and sitting down for a couple Spanish language interviews this week.

For all the recent excitement in Florida, this is all looking a little familiar. In 2010, Floridians rejected Republican establishment candidate Charlie Crist, sending Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio to the U.S. Senate instead. Rubio, who was Speaker of the Florida House, was in fact an insider who tapped into primary voters' frustration, rebranded himself as an outsider, and rode the Tea Party wave all the way to Washington. Sound familiar, former Speaker Newt Gingrich?

View Comments (2007)